Model 1898 Presentation Sword Bayonet
Imperial German 1st Seebataillon
One Year Volunteer Hoffmann
1st German Marine Corps Model 1898 Presentation Bayonet: An edged weapon from probably one of the most prestigous and elite combat units of Imperial Germany. No maker, 52 cm (20.5 inch) blade, chrome plating is 98-99% intact, with two blued panels, one reads "Kaiserl. I. Seebataillon," the other reads "Einj. - Freiw. Hoffmann," engraved below each panel is a ship under sail on the sea, engraved above each panel is a floral display of a canon and flags; the two wood grips show light wear, push button lock works perfect, light wear. Scabbard: the dark navy blue leather scabbard is lightly scuffed with almost no shrinkage, the stapled nickle plated fittings are still very snug (very little wiggle); overall light wear. Estimated Age: 1898-1908. This bayonet was awarded to a sailor/soldier who volunteered for one year to be a marine, presumably to serve in Africa or China, a time when Germany was desparate for naval infantry certain to be thrown into immediate combat far from home.
Virtually nothing is known about this exeptionally rare presentation dress bayonet. As of right now it is the only one I know of from this unit. It would be the centerpiece of any Imperial German bayonet collection. A recent sale for an 1871 sawtooth bayonet on ebay topped $3300. Just think how much more rare this one is!! It is museum quality! This is a collector's item that will prove to be a real hedge against inflation, a prudent investment, a blade that will make your collector friends envious! I am offering this magnificent bayonet from a very old collection with a starting bid of less than 50% of it's very conservatively appraised value. There is no reserve. If you have any questions, of any nature, re this bayonet please send me an ebay message. I will get back to you asap with an answer.
12 cm blued panel
Kaiserl. I. (Kaiserliche 1st) Seebataillon
(Imperial 1st Sea Batallion)
13 cm blued panel
Einj. - Freiw. (Einjährig Freiwilliger) Hoffmann
(One Year Volunteer Hoffmann)
floral canon, flags
The first Seebataillon was organized in May 1852 as the Royal Prussian Marinier-Korps at Stettin. This formation performed light duty such as protecting officers, general policing aboard warships and limited amphibious shore intrusions. The Seebataillon in 1870 had a strength of 22 officers and 680 non-commissioned officers and men. Battalion headquarters was then located at Kiel.
After the establishment of the German Empire in 1871, Chancellor Otto von Bismarck more or less ignored the navy as it did “not fit his intentions.” Bismarck’s continental policies sought to avoid colonial or naval entanglements and he would oppose plans to further develop navy forces.
With the creation of the Imperial Admiralty, Prussian army Generalleutnant Albrecht von Stosch was appointed chief. Stosch had no experience in naval matters, but “nevertheless, brought significant administrative talents to his new post.” He also perceived military power to emanate “from the tip of an army bayonet.”
Stosch ended the practice of placing marines aboard warships. Instead he adopted a concept that became known as Infanterieismus. He would train seamen as naval infantry, qualified in using small arms and competent in infantry tactics and amphibious operations. That approach would position the Seebataillon as a compact, self-contained organization, roughly equivalent to the British Royal Marine Light Infantry. Scheduled exchanges of officers from the Prussian army brought current tactical thinking to the sea battalions. The successful occupation of Kiautschou in China in November 1897 by the navy’s East Asia Cruiser Division was a flawless demonstration of Infanterieismus.
Since the mid-1880s Seebataillon troops were frequently used as temporary intervention forces, mostly in the colonies. A company was sent in 1884 to German Kamerun. During the Boxer rebellion in China from 1900 to 1901, the first and second Seebataillon, reinforced by an engineer company and field artillery battery, comprised the German contingent to the international relief force. In 1904–1908 during the Herero and Nama revolt, a formation in battalion strength supported the Schutztruppe in German South West Africa; during 1905–1906 a Seebataillon detachment served in German East Africa during the Maji Maji uprising.
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